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Recommendations of Iraq panel on security

UN will implement recommendations of Iraq panel on security - Annan

The United Nations will implement the main recommendations of a panel that investigated the bombing of the UN headquarters in Iraq and which called for reform of the organization's security systems, a spokesperson for Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

The Secretary-General's spokesperson said the report "will be closely studied and steps taken to ensure early implementation of its main recommendations."

The Secretary-General will also discuss staff security next week with the Chief Executives Board – comprising the heads of the UN’s agencies, funds and programmes – and ask them to respect the guidelines and recommendations of the UN Security Coordinator and the need to have more stringent minimum operating security standards, spokesperson Hua Jiang added.

An independent panel investigating the bombing of the UN mission in Baghdad 19 August today said it found UN security systems "dysfunctional." The report by Martti Ahtisaari, a former president of Finland, recommended worldwide reform.

"The security of the staff has been the constant concern of the Secretary-General and the Organization," said a statement issued by a spokesperson for Mr. Annan. "There have been many previous evaluations of the United Nations Security Coordination System but following the attacks on UN staff on 19 August, the Secretary-General decided that there should be an independent investigation and asked Mr. Martti Ahtisaari to head it. The reports of three earlier internal investigations were made available to his team."

The statement noted that while Mr. Ahtisaari's report focused on the attack of 19 August and security conditions in Iraq, it "has concluded with findings and recommendations regarding security in the wider UN system. The report will be closely studied and steps taken to ensure early implementation of its main recommendations."

The statement added that the Secretary-General "is very grateful to Mr. Ahtisaari for having accepted this assignment despite other demands on his time."

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